Here is something to warm a cold day in February!! From the clear waters of the Caribbean to the golden sands of Bournemouth, TripAdvisor has picked the best beaches in the world for 2018. A beach in the Caribbean nation of the Turks and Caicos has been named as the best in the world. Grace Bay in Providenciales came out on top of the Travellers' Choice Beach awards beating competition from beaches in Brazil, Cuba and Spain. The top-rated beach in the UK is Bournemouth beach, the No1 in the USA is Clearwater Beach in Florida while Manly Beach is deemed to be the best in Australia. Taking the crown for the best beach in Europe is La Concha Beach in San Sebastian, Spain. TripAdvisor announces the Travellers' Choice beach awards every year and they are based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings gathered over a 12-month period.
Found on the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Grace Bay Beach (above) is definitely one of the nicest beaches in the world. This coast is formed from coral-origin sand, which maintains a softness uncommon to many beaches. The entire beach is consistently excellent, with clean water, white sand and no rocks, seaweed or pollution. The barrier reef found a mile out protects Grace Bay from the ocean swells of the Atlantic. Grace Bay Beach is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park. Parasailing is one of the top ways to see Grace Bay, and flights can be either booked in advance, or arranged directly on the beach.
Coming in second is Baio do Sancho in Brazil (above), which has crystal clear waters - ideal for diving - and panoramic cliff-tops offering views of dolphins splashing in the bay. It has dropped to second after TripAdvisor named it the best in 2017. However, it is still popular with visitors with one reviewer writing on the website: 'Everything, from the waves and the temperature of the water to the sand and the flowers and the birds flying over it makes you feel like you are in paradise'
Discovered by Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), Italian merchant and cartographer in 1503, the archipelago is 4 degrees south of the Equator, around 200 miles off the northeastern coast of Brazil, north east to the city of Recife. The archipelago of 21 islands has never been linked to the mainland. Geologically, it is the tip of a submarine volcanic formation which rises out of the deep seabed and consists of one main island and several rocks and islets. The rocks form many natural aquaria and the underwater life is diverse. Because the reefs of the South Atlantic are isolated from the Caribbean by the outflow of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers, the reef communities are very different with many endemic species. Bathed by currents coming from Africa the waters around the islands are very clear with very good visibility even at 50 meters and have great year-round warm temperatures. Of course, you can also see the large “global” species such as manta rays, sharks, moray eels, goliath groupers, sea turtles and dolphins. The island is also home to one of the largest sea bird breeding colonies in the South Atlantic.